Saturday, May 10, 2008


I feel the pressure rising from my body. Not counting weekends, I only have 15 ½ days left before I have a two month vacation. Well, vacation isn’t the right word. I work like hell during those months. It is my primary art making time. However, it is a break from having to do and think about things other people want me to do and think. Freedom reigns!
This is the time of year that is so much fun. I dive in head first and immerse myself in all things art. I am totally self absorbed and my mind fills with racing thoughts: “I need to work on a new series, I need to do a little marketing, I need to make connections, I need to do this and that NOW!” Also, I have time to read, relax, and contemplate my so called “art life”. Just this week I began reading art blogs again. My other duties are winding down and I have time to do things I WANT TO DO.
This morning I was reading Eva Lake’s Blog. In her current post “Ways to be an artist”, she mentions feeling a panic attack coming on when people ask “What are you doing now?” I relate to this so much. I made an honest comment on the post about how I understand this kind of anxiety particularly in these technological times.
Obviously, I write this blog. I have a website. I also make art videos and put them up on YouTube, Live Video, and Blip. When I started my YouTube channel, I happily started uploading videos of finished work and works in progress. A few of the videos had me talking while painting. For a while, the video camera became a fixture in my studio. Then it happened! I started getting so freaky and anxious about what I was doing, I began to see the camera as the enemy. I started second guessing my art work and became increasingly self conscious with every brushstroke. I felt like BIG BROTHER WAS WATCHING ME! So, I have slowed down and stepped back. I will still make videos, just fewer and farther between.
Sometimes I get that same feeling writing this blog. I intentionally think of topics other than what I am working on in the studio because I need a bit of head space and privacy to create. With all the blogging, vlogging, websiting, and videomaking, it is easy for an artist to feel the panic. It is as if you have this huge eye watching you as its huge mouth is yelling directly in your ear:
I can’t deal with that, so I have to take it slow and mellow. Technology is great. The technological community is even greater. However, every artist needs a quiet, private time to work sometimes.
What do you think?

By Sheree Rensel
Acrylic/Mixed Media/Canvas
Click to enlarge


CMC said...

I certainly agree and also do the same thing. Sometimes I wonder why anyone would want to read about what I DO. I report on what ever I want to report and don't make any reports when I don't want to.
That's not to say I don't feel the same anxiety you are talking about when guilt seeps in when it's not ART all the time.
I just need time for things to percolate before the active times.

Sheree Rensel said...

When I put stuff on the web, I do it for ME. Seriously. Orginally, I made my website so I could get a vision and perspective on what I was doing. I started blogging in lieu of therapy. I made videos to see myself doing what I do and gain fresh perspectives. I didn't realize (or think about) others would take notice. However I quickly understood through feedback and "hits", I was putting my whole life under a microscope. Although I try to avoid exposing my daily grind, I refuse to do what some people do and talk about their trip to the grocery store or most recent doctors appointment. At least, I keep my topics related to art in some way. However like you I need percolation time!
Thanks for you comment!!